Monday, August 13, 2007

Archaeologize at Home! Ask Me How!

We've got a glass farm going next to the house. Requires no sunlight or water—basically all you have to do is throw a bunch of broken glass on the ground and kick some dirt over it, then die, then in 80 years someone else buys the house and keeps noticing all this glass glinting through the soil in the patch of woods back behind the shed. Actually, it doesn't sound fun to start such a farm—because of the having to die part—but we, the beneficiaries of our predecessor's foresight, started the glass harvest this past weekend.



And what a trove of jagged crap we've discovered! A few minutes' work with a pick and a hoe yields not just glass, but an enchanting array of flaking and rusty bits of metal, a spoon, wire, a fragmented leather(n) child's shoe, pot handles, a ribeye bone, plus the fragments of bottles and crockery, some bearing decorations and some plain. Like us, the previous homesteaders enjoyed both the milk and the whiskey, plus other unknown sasparillas, lemon cokes, Efficacious Solutions, laudanum, & c. They apparently ate from plates. There are some of what appear to be horseless carriage parts -- at least, they're completely rust-bloated, larger and heavier than any normal household metal object we use today. Although I suppose they could be parts of dismantled stoves or other appliances.

I'm clinging to the thought that this was an appropriate site for the disposal of household waste in the early part of the 20th century. Before a couple of additions onto the house in the last twenty years or so, this spot was even more distant from the actual building, and I'm assuming—persuading myself, really—that it wasn't a filthy, lazy and vile habit to throw your crap in a disorganized heap in an unused part of your own property instead of carting it to a communal dump someplace. I'm telling myself that this stuff is old because I'd much prefer it to have happened when it seems it would have been more appropriate, and so far the lack of tupperware, Alberto V05 cans, 8-track cassettes or frilly velour tuxedos mixed into the junk supports my wishful thinking.



5 comments:

letterb said...

Cooooool! All we have buried in our backyard (according to a previous owner that emailed me) is a bunch of dead pets.

wcs said...

They sure don't make Efficacious Solutions like they used to. Ah, the good old days.

TeeJay said...

Hey, don't eschew the Tupperware. Find enough of it and you can have a party!

Suzanne said...

Did you move high into the Appalachian's, or what? Maybe you can find a salvagable porcelain toilet bowl buried somewhere back there to store it all in...

(love the red shoes.)

Bill Braine said...

Them are the Hudson Highlands. I'm just worried I'll realize that I'm digging in the privy.